Winter brings beautiful snowfall and crisp air, but it also ushers in challenging conditions for pedestrians. Icy sidewalks and snowy streets can make walking a risky endeavor.
To ensure your safety during the winter months, it is important to follow some guidelines for pedestrians on roadways.
Walk like a pro
When walking on snowy or icy roads, take shorter steps and slow your pace to maintain your balance. Watch for uneven surfaces or patches of black ice. Use handrails to prevent falls on stairs or ramps.
Make yourself visible
Shorter days and longer nights in winter can decrease visibility. Therefore, wear clothing with bright colors or reflective materials, and consider carrying a flashlight or using your smartphone’s flashlight feature when you walk in the dark.
According to the NHTSA, 16% of the 7,388 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2021 died at intersections. Therefore, use marked crosswalks and obey traffic signals and pedestrian signs. Before you cross the road, make eye contact with drivers to make sure that they see you.
Be aware of your surroundings
Snowplows and salt trucks can throw snow and salt, so keep a safe distance from these vehicles and their operations. Also, distractions like texting, talking on the phone or listening to loud music can reduce your awareness of your surroundings. Stay focused and attentive while walking near traffic.
Make informed decisions
Before heading out, check the weather forecast and road conditions. Plan your route to avoid heavily trafficked or unsafe areas. Stick to well-maintained sidewalks and paths. If conditions are extremely icy or there is a snowstorm, consider staying indoors.
To protect yourself and others when you venture out in the winter, make safety your top priority.